From the outset of the game one pitcher had it together, and it wasn’t Jason Hammel for the Rays. Hammel started out getting Roberts to ground out to Bartlett but then walked three of the next four batters to load the bases. Even though Hammel got out of the inning the O’s preceeded to hound the 25 year old righty for three runs in only 2.2 innings of work. He was replaced in the third by JP Howell who had his excellent curveball working through the fifth inning. Howell’s curveball looked as good as I had seen it in any appearance this season, striking out four including ex-Ray Aubry Huff. But in the bottom of the sixth Huff got his revenge as he has on eight other occasions by hitting a two run home run off of Dohmann to extend the O’s lead to seven.
Young Orioles pitcher Garrett Olson pitched a great game on the other hand. The Rays could not get even a hit off of Olson until the third inning and did not capitalize on any runners in scoring postion until the seventh on Olson’s 105th pitch. It turned out to be his last and was pulled for Radnor Bierd who allowed the inherited runner (Aki) to score on an RBI by Crawford and then gave up a two run home run to BJ Upton shrinking the lead to three, but the offensive burst wasn’t enough for the Rays to take the lead from the O’s and the ending score was 7-4.
The Rays just could not get the bats working tonight off of the rookie, but it just wasn’t the hitting to be fair the bullpen didn’t show their brillance of the last few games allowing 4 ER on 4 H, 1 HR, and 5 walks. We’ll just call this a hicup and hope the pen can pull it together for tomorrow’s game. I have no doubt Percival will get them refocused in time to take the next two games from the O’s. No Panic here….
Tomorrow’s game will feature Andy Sonnanstine against Matt Albers. Sonny has been great in his last two starts coming off a horrible outing against the Yankees on the 14th of April. Lets hope the Rays will come out firing on all cylinders and not carry the “flatness” over from tonight.
I do believe that this may give Joe Maddon some reason to send someone other than Garza down when Kazmir comes back. Garza is the name I am hearing though but he has not had the chance to pitch since he has been on the DL. I say give him this next start and then we’ll see.